We want to see all refugees in Salem as valued, thriving, contributing members of our community.


A look at global refugee statistics from UNHCR

Refugees in Salem

Since the end of 2015, Salem has welcomed refugees from 9 different countries around the world. These incredible people have endured unimaginable hardships, fleeing their own homes and loved ones in search of a better life and a new start. Not only do we have the privilege of coming alongside our new neighbors as they settle in Salem, but our city benefits tremendously from their diverse cultural backgrounds, global perspective, hospitality, skills, work ethic and innovation. It is an honor to welcome them to the community!

  • 65.6 million people are currently displaced in our world as a result of war, violence or persecution (1 in every 113). This is the highest number in recorded human history.
  • 22.5 million of the 65.6 million displaced people in the world are refugees
  • Refugees are people just like you and me. They have families, hopes, and dreams. They want to make a contribution to their society and community. They want to see their kids have a better future. But, unlike many of us, they have been forced to leave their homes because of persecution, war, and violence.
  • According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the official definition of a refugee is…

    “…someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries.” (unrefugees.org)

  • Over 65% of refugees come from Africa and the Middle East
  • 80% of refugees are women
  • 50% of refugees are under the age of 18